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The current state of CSS

The current state of CSS provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by James Williamson as p… Show More

CSS Fundamentals

with James Williamson

Video: The current state of CSS

The current state of CSS provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by James Williamson as part of the CSS Fundamentals
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The current state of CSS
Video Duration: 3m 40s 3h 14m Beginner Updated Dec 13, 2011


The current state of CSS provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by James Williamson as part of the CSS Fundamentals

View Course Description

This course contains a high-level overview of Cascading Style Sheets, while exploring the basic concepts, terminology, and tools of the language. Beginning with an exploration of CSS syntax, author James Williamson explains how CSS modifies text, borders, backgrounds, and color; demonstrates CSS and HTML integration; and contextualizes the current state of CSS. The course also tours some of the most popular CSS editors and frameworks and lists online tools and resources for further study. This course is for people who want a big-picture overview before taking hands-on courses.

Topics include:
  • Understanding basic selector types
  • Integrating CSS with HTML
  • Examining browser rendering differences
  • Exploring CSS specifications
  • Checking browser support
  • Understanding the box model
  • Adjusting margins and padding
  • Positioning elements
  • Exploring basic layout concepts
  • Understanding media queries
  • Introducing CSS3
  • Using CSS Reset

The current state of CSS

Okay, so now that we know a little but more about the history of CSS, let's take a look at what is going on with it currently. Now, please keep in mind that the changing nature of CSS means that what I am about to show you here is likely to have changed significantly since I recorded this movie. So take what I'm showing you here as more of a guide to finding out what's going on with CSS, rather than a snapshot of how it really looks in its current state. To get a high-level overview of what's going on with CSS, visit the W3C's Cascading Style Sheets Current Work page.

Here you are going to find a complete list of all the CSS modules, their current status, priority level and a timeline for when the model could reach recommendation status. So let's take a closer look. First, you'll notice that we have a list of modules and specifications that are split into four groups, based on level of completion and priority. Listed beside the modules, you'll see their current status and any upcoming revisions. Now if these modules are live on the W3C site, you can simply click on the current status for the latest revision of the specification itself.

Now, if I go back and click on the name of the specification, I am taken to a brief description of it and then a timeline for the specification track. To help make sense of the module's status, it helps if you know all the steps of the document goes through on its way to recommendation status. So let's take a closer look at that as well. I am just going to hit the Back button to go back to our Current Work page. If I scroll all the way down towards the bottom, I can see an exclamation of those colors and the statuses what we are talking about. So, documents are first published as a public working draft.

Now this is the stage where most of the collaborative work behind the standard itself is done. Once the working draft stage starts coming to a close, the standard is just going to go into what they call the last call stage. Now last call, it is just essentially a way of letting people know that the standard is about to move to the next stage of testing. So any reviews that people might have, edits, or additional implementations need to be done before the proposed deadline. Now after this last call, a standard moves into what they call candidate recommendation.

Now although the standard is considered stable at this point, implementations are being studied and changes can be made at this stage if required. So they are last-minute changes, but they can still be done. Now from there, specifications move on to the proposed recommendation and published recommendation statuses. Now using those as a guide, it's pretty easy, if we scroll back through this list, to see which models are stable and which ones still might see significant changes prior to publication. Now, as you would imagine, the specifications that are listed as high priority are a bit further along than some of the other specs.

However, make sure you don't confuse a specification's status with the current state of its implementation. Certainly keeping track of the CSS modules and their timelines will give you a better idea of which modules to focus on as you learn CSS, versus the ones that maybe you could put off for the near future. However, many of the features that are currently in working draft status are actually further along in terms of being implemented by browsers than those that are in some of the candidate recommendations.

The bottom line here is that you need to keep your eye on both what's going on with the specifications and how browsers are implementing them. We will discuss how to track browser implementation a little bit later on, after we are through taking a closer look and reading through the CSS specifications.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about CSS Fundamentals .

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Q: This course was updated on 12/13/2011. Can you tell me what has changed?
A: One movie called "Who is this course for?" was added to provide information on what you can expect to get from the course, depending on your level of familiarity with CSS.





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